Advice for faceoffs and tips
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07-31-2010, 10:22 AM
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Boise, ID
I don't really have any drills for you to do just some advice. The best advice I can give you when taking a faceoff is to have a plan and mix it up. Most guys in adult leagues just whack the puck toward the boards and call it good. Another issue that I see is that refs in adult leagues bounce the puck a lot. A couple of things that I do is in my defensive zone I will try and pull the puck back to my defenseman back on the goal line. I will also usually do it toward the inside of the ice. Most opponents will figure I am going toward the boards and try and block me from doing that. I will sweep at the puck and move forward and turn my hips parallel to the boards to block the other center out.
In the neutral and offensive zones you have a lot more options. This is where you can come up with ideas with your wings. A lot of times in the offensive zone I won't even touch the puck. I just tie up the center's stick and take one step toward the middle and have my outside wing charge in and either take the puck to the middle himself or drop it back to the point and crash the net. Even if the other wing comes with him the 2 centers will provide a pick for him to be able to get some open space. This works great if the ref bounces the puck a lot or if the other center has been beating you.
You can't win faceoffs by yourself, you need the puck to go to a teammate so they need to be involved as well. It's your job to let them know what you are going to do so that they don't have to react to what you did. Give them the advantage of being able to get a step on their opposing player. You don't always have to be quicker to win faceoffs just smarter. Pay attention to what your opposing center has been doing. If he has a pattern then you have an advantage and can do something opposite of that pattern. And for you, mix it up so that they can't figure you out either. If they are trying to figure you out then they won't have 100% focus on what they are doing.
If you have video of some NHL games try watching different faceoffs over and over. Watch the offensive side, the defensive side and what each person is doing during the faceoff. Try and figure out what each centers plan was going in and see why it worked or why it didn't.
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